Free Play Florida 2017 Revives Retro-Gaming Nostalgia For Young And Old

The 2017 Free Play Florida event was indeed fun for many who wallowed in the realm of 80s and 90s nostalgia. It seems that retro-gaming is catching on with the many of the Generation X’ers, and with it a ton of attendees at the Orlando Double Tree hotel last weekend proved to be a great turn out.

It’s also interesting to see children of Generation X’ers be introduced into the world of what their parents had once experienced and the trend of retro-gaming seems to be on the upswing with the introduction of Netflix’s Stranger Things and the upcoming Ready Player One movie by Steven Spielberg. Even mini-retro handheld arcades are popping up this Christmas season. The hype is indeed there for children of the 80s.


The above Sinistar game was an entertainment delight as this was a machine not available where I lived back in the day. I’ve seen it played countless times on TBS’ Starcade series and seeing it now for the first time in person allowed me an opportunity to give it a shot. There is a certain creep factor as the impending Sinistar is going under some galactic resurrection process and when complete, you can feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as you hear, “Beware, I live!”booming from the arcade’s speakers!


College days remembered from the 90’s when fighting games were prominent and Mortal Kombat rose supreme! I played several rounds with another fan of the era where the sounds of this game gave a good round of nostalgia as well.

As coincidence would have it, a few days ago an interview Steve Ritchie, via Great Big Story, who voiced Shao Khan, took a look back at the game. It’s interesting to note he’s also a pinball an video game designer.

It was great reminiscing with my MK gaming buddy at Free Play Florida and funnily enough, we were Googling fatality moves frantically before the timer ran out. Trying to recall these techniques was challenging.


A throwback to “The Last Starfighter”!

Good ol’ Tempest!


I have to say, my experience at the 2017 Free Play Florida event was awesome! Indeed this is an event I’d go back to and pick up on some games I never got a chance to get to last weekend. I give it 2 thumbs up!

Author: Tony Smejek View all posts by
Tony is fanatical about his geek pop-culture passion. He specializes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the DC Extended Cinematic Universe. When other shared universes start to jump on the band wagon, he may even push the envelope into those worlds as well.

Leave A Response